Skip to main content

A Mentor Changed Rosa’s Career. Now She’s Paying It Forward.

Rosa Wiese On Location

Rosa Wiese will tell you the honest truth about how she stumbled into retail work: She started with a part-time gig at Circuit City, just trying to find her way in her career and support her daughter. But once she got started, she was hooked. 

“I fell in love with the competitiveness, the team orientation, the coaching and mentorship and the development,” she said. 

Rosa has come a long way since that first retail job back in 2001: she’s now a retail market manager at Cox, overseeing Cox Communications retail stores all over Hampton Roads, VA. She’s also getting her bachelor’s degree in business through Cox’s partnership with Regent University. 

I recently sat down with Rosa to talk about her journey to becoming a sales leader at Cox and what helped her carve out her dream career. 

 

Leaning on mentorship and development 

Rosa got her first taste of leadership as a store manager at both Circuit City and Best Buy. She was happy with the direction her career was heading, but she was burned out by the long hours at the store. That’s when she started looking for opportunities at Cox. 

“I was working 60 to 80 hours a week and my work-life balance was suffering,” said Rosa, who started out as a sales rep at a Cox retail store in Hampton Roads and later worked her way up. 

Rosa says it was humbling to step away from management and hit the sales floor again. But that reset gave her time to develop skills that now serve her as a leader at Cox. 

The biggest game changer was finding her mentor; someone who could give her the roadmap to success. 

“When you don’t have a mentor, there’s no guidance; you don't know which path to take,” Rosa said. “We came up with a checklist plan, and he literally wrote down everything I needed to do.” 

Rosa started taking specific training courses, establishing a rapport with other store locations and pitching process improvements among departments. She also took on a role outside of the retail stores as a third-party account manager. It gave her hands-on experience overseeing different locations and set her up as a clear contender when the retail market manager opened. 

When she got the job offer, she burst into tears. 

“Our VP called me on a Saturday, on FaceTime no less,” she said. “And I just started crying.” 

 

Paying it forward 

As a manager, Rosa says she’s just as invested in the growth and development of her employees as she is in their performance. She sees her role as a leader to help boost other’s careers at Cox, even if that takes them to opportunities in new departments.  

“To coach and develop is my biggest priority,” she said. “I just had five people go to a whole new branch of Cox Business, one of whom was a store manager who’s now a supervisor of a department that never existed before.” 

Nowadays, Rosa measures her success as a leader by how much she’s able to pass on to others. 

“And 90% of the time, it’s just teaching a life lesson to somebody,” Rosa said. “And they do call me Mama Rosa.” 

  

What’s next 

Through Cox’s partnership with Regent University, “Mama Rosa” went back to school in 2022 and has been gradually earning credits toward her bachelor’s in business.  

“It’s a big blessing because I didn't realize how expensive tuition is, and now that my daughter is in college, it helps me so I’m not paying tuition for two people,” she said. “As long as I get a C or higher, I don’t have to pay for anything but my books.” 

Rosa explained that getting her degree is a major achievement in and of itself, it’s also a step toward her next big goal: to someday become a VP at Cox. 

“My motto is being unapologetically fearless,” she said. “You can’t be fearful about the next step.” 

 

Interested in new career possibilities? Explore open positions and join the Cox Talent Community today!

Related Articles

View All Stories
Cox employee headshot
Employee Stories

How a Part-Time Gig Turned into a Dream Career